Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

03/04/2019 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
03:19:12 PM Start
03:20:03 PM Confirmation Hearing(s): Marijuana Control Board
03:41:45 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Marijuana Control Board
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         March 4, 2019                                                                                          
                           3:19 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Adam Wool, Co-Chair                                                                                              
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josh Revak                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S): MARIJUANA CONTROL BOARD                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Christopher Jaime - Soldotna                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTOPHER JAIME, Appointee                                                                                                    
Marijuana Control Board                                                                                                         
Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development                                                                
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Marijuana                                                                  
Control Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHELSEA FOSTER                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered comments on the governor's                                                                       
appointee to the Marijuana Control Board.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
GREG EGLE, Owner                                                                                                                
Bells Flats Botanicals                                                                                                          
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Offered comments  on the governor's appointee                                                             
to the Marijuana Control Board.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CARY CARRIGAN, Executive Director,                                                                                              
Alaska Marijuana Industry Association (AMIA)                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Offered   comments  on   the  governor's                                                             
appointee to the Marijuana Control Board.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:19:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR ADAM WOOL  called the House Labor  and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  3:19 p.m.  Representatives Hannan,                                                               
Fields, Stutes,  Talerico, LeDoux, and  Wool were present  at the                                                               
call to order.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S): Marijuana Control Board                                                                               
        CONFIRMATION HEARING(S): Marijuana Control Board                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
3:20:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL announced that the  only order of business would be                                                               
consideration of  Christopher Jaime, the governor's  appointee to                                                               
the Marijuana Control Board.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:20:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTOPHER  JAIME, Appointee,  Marijuana  Control Board,  Alaska                                                               
Department  of   Commerce,  Community,  &   Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED), stated  that he  has lived  in Alaska  for 26  years and                                                               
worked for the Department of Public  Safety (DPS) for the last 18                                                               
years.   He relayed that  during his time  with DPS he  lived and                                                               
raised his children in several  communities throughout the state,                                                               
including: Anchorage,  Sitka, Fairbanks, Nome, and  Soldotna.  He                                                               
noted  his  work for  both  The  Alaska  State Troopers  and  the                                                               
Division of Alaska  Wildlife Troopers.  He  conveyed that working                                                               
in both  an urban  and a  rural setting has  given him  a diverse                                                               
career  and   a  well-rounded   perspective  on  the   needs  and                                                               
challenges  facing  the  state.    He  said  he  understood  that                                                               
Alaskans  voted to  legalize  the  cultivation, consumption,  and                                                               
distribution of marijuana, adding that  he didn't want to express                                                               
any  of his  personal views  on marijuana  or "vote"  against the                                                               
will  of the  people.   He expressed  that he  would be  taking a                                                               
"common sense"  approach while  on the  board and  would regulate                                                               
marijuana  from  a  public  safety   perspective.    Finally,  he                                                               
reflected  on  his  recent visits  to  several  marijuana-related                                                               
businesses.   He said he  received a detailed explanation  of the                                                               
challenges  they face  and got  to see  the entire  process "from                                                               
seed  to  sale."    He  added   that  he  was  excited  for  this                                                               
opportunity.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:23:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LEDOUX wondered  how Mr.  Jaime  would react  if, as  a                                                               
current state  employee, he  was contacted by  the Office  of the                                                               
Governor when  there was  a regulation  up for  consideration and                                                               
his   perspective   on   the  topic   didn't   "gel"   with   the                                                               
administration's.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JAIME  replied that  he  would  take [the  administration's]                                                               
input  into  consideration,  but  ultimately,  any  board-related                                                               
decision he made would be his own.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX questioned whether Mr.  Jaime was a member of the                                                               
Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME stated that he was not a member.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LEDOUX  asked  if  Mr.   Jaime  would  have  any  union                                                               
protections.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JAIME  explained  that,  as  a  lieutenant  for  the  Alaska                                                               
Wildlife  Troopers, he  was  a member  of  the Supervisory  Union                                                               
(SU).                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:25:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  inquired as to  the number of  crimes that                                                               
are committed under the influence of alcohol versus marijuana.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME  stated that  he didn't  have any  numbers in  front of                                                               
him,  however,  throughout  his  time in  Nome  he  responded  to                                                               
various crimes that were primarily fueled by alcohol.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  offered her understanding that,  in public                                                               
safety  and  corrections,  somewhere  between  90-95  percent  of                                                               
crimes engage  with alcohol-related  behaviors, whereas  very few                                                               
violent crimes are marijuana influenced.   She asked if Mr. Jaime                                                               
had anecdotally encountered this to be true.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME agreed, explaining that  most of the violent crimes and                                                               
suicides he investigated pertained  to alcohol significantly more                                                               
than marijuana.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:27:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  thanked Mr.  Jaime for  his 18  years of                                                               
service in  law enforcement to  the State  of Alaska, as  well as                                                               
for his service as a veteran.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:28:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL  asked Mr.  Jaime  if  he  was familiar  with  the                                                               
previous  holder  of the  public  safety  seat on  the  Marijuana                                                               
Control Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JAIME  shared  his understanding  that  the  previous  board                                                               
member was the chief of police for the Sitka Police Department.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL questioned  whether Mr. Jaime was  ever involved in                                                               
any  local   political  petitions   or  activity   pertaining  to                                                               
marijuana.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME replied that he was not.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL asked Mr. Jaime if  he had ever arrested anyone for                                                               
the  use or  possession of  marijuana  during his  career in  law                                                               
enforcement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME  explained that  when it was  still illegal  to possess                                                               
[marijuana] in public,  he had issued several  summons during his                                                               
career but never arrested anyone for it.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL inquired as to  whether Mr. Jaime, with his history                                                               
in  law enforcement,  would feel  conflicted serving  on a  board                                                               
that regulates the legal use of marijuana.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME replied that he  would not feel conflicted, adding that                                                               
he was excited to regulate.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:30:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:31:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHELSEA FOSTER  stated that  she hoped  the appointment  would be                                                               
properly  vetted, adding  that  if Mr.  Jaime  is applicable  and                                                               
works with  integrity, there's  no reason  why he  shouldn't hold                                                               
the seat.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:32:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREG  EGLE,  Owner,  Bells  Flats  Botanicals,  acknowledged  the                                                               
importance of having  a public safety presence on the  board.  He                                                               
noted  that he  hoped positivity  would be  maintained throughout                                                               
the appointment process.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:34:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARY  CARRIGAN,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Marijuana  Industry                                                               
Association (AMIA), stated  that he is not  issuing testimony for                                                               
or against  Mr. Jaime;  however, he  expressed cause  for concern                                                               
with the  appointment, primarily  because Mr.  Jaime is  still an                                                               
employee of  the state,  which makes  him directly  answerable to                                                               
the  governor.   He  offered  his belief  that  it is  critically                                                               
important that  board members remain impartial  and perform their                                                               
duties  on  behalf of  the  public.   Nonetheless,  he  expressed                                                               
relief  that  Mr.  Jaime  had  taken the  time  to  tour  several                                                               
marijuana facilities.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:36:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL closed public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:36:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL  reiterated  the   importance  of  board  members'                                                               
impartiality and  asked Mr. Jaime if  he would be able  to uphold                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME assured the committee that he would.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL asked  for Mr. Jaime's position on  the proposal to                                                               
disband both the Alcohol Control  Board and the Marijuana Control                                                               
Board  and  pass their  duties  on  to  the commissioner  of  the                                                               
Department  of  Commerce,  Community,  and  Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME offered his belief that  it is the governor's choice to                                                               
do so or  not, explaining that he would not  make a statement for                                                               
or against the proposal.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL inquired  as to  Mr. Jaime's  thoughts on  certain                                                               
industries  having  their  regulation  boards  composed  of  both                                                               
industry professionals and public members.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JAIME stated  that  boards  are a  good  thing because  they                                                               
provide a variety of opinions.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:38:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  questioned whether, while  attending board                                                               
meetings, Mr.  Jaime would have to  take leave or if  he would be                                                               
compensated by  the state.  She also asked  how that  leave would                                                               
impact his duties as a trooper.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. JAIME  claimed that the  board meetings would fall  under his                                                               
salary.   He explained  that, regarding  his trooper  post, there                                                               
would be  supervisors and  sergeants that  could perform  his job                                                               
while he was gone.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:39:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX pointed out that  Mr. Jaime's SU membership would                                                               
act as  somewhat of  a "firewall"  from the  governor's influence                                                               
since state employees  under a union contract cannot  be fired by                                                               
the governor at will.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:41:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LEDOUX made  a motion  to advance  the confirmation  of                                                               
Christopher Jaime,  appointee to the Marijuana  Control Board, to                                                               
the joint  session for consideration.  There being  no objection,                                                               
the confirmation was advanced.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
3:42 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Christopher E. Jaime_Redacted.pdf HL&C 3/4/2019 3:15:00 PM
Christopher Jaime